Matt Bowen has blood on his hands

Queensland State of Origin hero and North Queensland Cowboy, Matt Bowen, is calling on Queenslanders to help give Australia a boost of Maroon blood. With Australia facing a severe crisis as blood supplies plummet, Matt said it was time to help the Cockroaches and Mexicans from down south ? especially as we are about to take the State of Origin crown away from them.

"While there may be plenty of blood spilt at Telstra Stadium next Wednesday, more needs to go to the Australian Red Cross Blood Service to help avoid a crisis," Matt said.

"There are hundreds of thousands of people out there who rely on the support of a small number of volunteer blood donors to ensure they end up on the right side of the ledger come full time," he said.

"Unlike a game of league, these people cannot afford to wait for an intercept try or take the risk of scoring a golden point in extra time.

'When the siren sounds, for them the game's over unless they are ahead on the scoreboard."

Australian Red Cross Blood Service Liaison Officer, Bruce Muller, said that in times of crisis all the states had to pull together to help.

"While Queensland is better placed than some states, the reality is that everyone needs more blood," Mr Muller said.

"If you've ever considered becoming a blood donor, then now is the time to do so," he said.

"We don't just need a lot of donors today. We need them today, tomorrow, this week and next week. A few short days of good collections will not pull Australia out of its current slump."

After being lauded as a hero for his extra time intercept try in Origin 1, Matt Bowen said volunteer blood donors were true heroes.

"One of the things we learn when we go into the Queensland camp is the value of teamwork, of pulling together and helping each other through the tough times."

"You learn to rely on your mates and that's what the Blood Service is asking Queenslanders to do ? to roll up their sleeves and share a bit of the Maroon spirit."

"As a footballer, I get asked to support a lot of causes. But blood donation isn't a cause, it's a necessity."

Anyone who is aged between 16 and 70, weighs more than 45kg and is in reasonably good health is a possible blood donor. To make an appointment to donate, or to find out more information, simply call 13 14 95 or visit www.donateblood.com.au.

Donors will need to bring personal ID with them to their donation with 3 points of identification on it, such as on a driver's licence.

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